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Carnivorous Plants/Tebuconazole and Darlingtonia

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Question
Hey guys,
I have seen that you recommend bayer tebuconazole  for cobras to prevent disease. I wanted to know if you dip only bare root plants, or actually drench them in the pot. I don't have any problems yet and am looking for preventative, for which the bottle says to spray.. I am curious your best practice for preventing disease in the cobras and which spray/drench. The information I have seen is around saving or curing and wanted to know your prevention.
Thanks,
Brian

Answer
Hi Brian,

First, to answer your question, I've used the Bayer Disease Control (Tebuconazole) both as a dip/soak when transplanting and soil drench.  It definitely helps, but has a suppressive effect as opposed to curative.

The best preventative is cultural as opposed to chemical, however.  I've become convinced over the last few years that Darlingtonia in cultivation are very prone to Phytophthora root rot.  Phytophthora is a disease caused by a swimming protozoan that affects many nursery plants, and has become a very serious pest in recent years.  Stagnant water conditions favor it.  The way to prevent it is to make sure your media drains well, and don't let pots or containers come in contact with the ground in any way. (It's present in soil very frequently.)  Having pots elevated and putting them either on a drip system or just being good about daily top-watering during warm weather keeps roots cool and well aerated.  Stressed plants will be more subject to the disease.  Also, avoid re-using any soil media.

My hypothesis over the last few years of dealing with this is that since the majority of Darlingtonia grow in areas where the predominate soil is of Serpentine origin.  This gives their soil a high heavy metal content which probably suppresses Phytophthora.  The coastal colonies are often found growing in live Sphagnum moss which creates a strongly acid environment which would suppress disease too.  You frequently read of growers having good success when their plants are in living Sphagnum.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com  

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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